Rep. Mary Skinner, R-Yakima, was diagnosed with colon cancer on Friday, her office announced today.
She's slated for surgery on Thursday at a Yakima hospital. Intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments will follow in April.
In a statement, Skinner said she hopes to be back at work as a lawmaker by mid-summer.
"I am facing the greatest challenge of my life," she said. I have never backed away from any challenge, including this one. I plan to meet it with all of my faith and strength."
The daughter of migrant workers who arrived the Yakima Valley when she was three months old, Skinner is a former high school teacher who was elected to state House of Representatives in 1994. She's married to retired surgeon Hal Skinner.